A growing number of faculty are interested in podcasting their courses. Podcasting places audio and video content on the web where it can be downloaded by aggregator programs like iTunes.. Students can subscribe to your course content and receive it automatically.
What good is a podcast?
There are a number of reasons to employ podcasts in your course. Some possibilities include:
- Allows students to review lecture material
- Provides opportunities for self-learning
- Visually demonstrate complex skills or techniques prior to classroom time
- Video iPods and computers can be utilized as a review of important skills prior to examination
- Audio Podcast provide another learning mechanism for students to review material prior to examination
- Assign Podcast of renowned individuals for classroom discussion
- Recording student presentations so that students can work on presentation skills
How to get started
It is best to pick one course and try to podcast a few lectures. There can be a learning curve so do not bite off too much your first time. Buy some good podcast production software (see below) that automates most of the process. If you keep it simple, you are more likely to continue podcasting. You can always get advice and help from other podcasting faculty (see the list below).
This podcast will give you an idea of how to make your own. It is a recording of a session on podcasting given at the 2007 Faculty College.
There are excellent software packages that make producing and publishing podcasts easy. If you work on a Mac try Profcast. The program Podcaster works on either Mac or Windows. Both of these programs write the RSS feed that tells software like iTunes how to download new episodes of your podcast. They also include built in FTP clients that post your files onto the web.
If you just want to record some audio and do some simple editing, try the free Audacity. And if you are on a Mac you can do some more advanced editing with Garageband.
You can find a complete list of available software here.
A good webpage of online resources
Another good wiki on podcasting
Please contact any of the faculty below with questions about podcasting your course.
- Mason Posner, Department of Biology
- Example of a course podcast page made with the online program Feedburner